Faculty

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Patricia Renzetti was the prima ballerina for the Colorado Ballet for twelve years, and also was a principal dancer with the London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), Scapino Ballet of Holland, Iranian National Ballet, and the Tampa Ballet. She appeared as a guest ballerina with the Estonia National Ballet, Teatro Communale in Florence, Italy, and the Israel Ballet. She has danced leading roles in the classical repertoire including 'Cinderella', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'The Nutcracker', 'Coppelia', 'Swan Lake', and 'Sleeping Beauty'. She has staged many classical ballets for Ballet Ariel including the pas de six from 'Napoli', 'Les Sylphides', 'La Vivandiere', and 'Pas de Quatre'. Patricia earned a Master's Degree in Choreography at the University of Iowa, and continues to teach, choreograph, and occasionally perform. She has an MA in counseling. Patricia teaches company classes.

Ilena Norton has directed the Ballet Ariel Company since 1998 and founded the Ballet Ariel School in 2001. She has choreographed many original ballets including Avoca-A Tale of Molly Brown, Vincent Van Gogh, and The Birth of Rock and Roll. Many of her professional ballets include student roles, and she has created original choreography for the annual student recitals. Students in the Ballet Ariel School have participated in many of Ballet Ariel's productions and tours. She has been teaching in the Ballet Ariel School since 2001, and her students have successfully auditioned for multiple ballet company summer programs and are performing with professional ballet companies. She studied ballet with Larry Boyette and many others. Mr. Boyette danced with American Ballet Theatre in the 1930s, and established a school in Denver that trained many classical dancers and teachers during his lifetime. She performed with Ballet Arts Theatre under Paul Fiorino and Larry Boyette. The Ballet Ariel Director has a Bachelors Degree from Stanford University and postgraduate education from Yale University and the University of Colorado in psychology and health. Ilena teaches student company classes.

Oleg Dedogryuk is a graduate of the Leningrad Vaganova Ballet Academy and has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education. He was a principal dancer with the Leningrad Modern Ballet Theatre under Boris Eifman, the Boshoi Theatre Grigorovich Ballet, the Moscow Renaissance Ballet, The National Ballet Theatre in Yugoslavia, the City Ballet in San Diego, and he was a soloist with the Colorado Ballet. He has won prizes for best partner at the 7th International Competition in Moscow, and is Laureate from the International Nureyev's Festival and the International Festival of Dance in Spoleto, Italy. Oleg teaches company classes.

Jennifer Kuhn is originally from the North Bay area of San Francisco. She is honored to be in her fifth season as a principal artist with Ballet Ariel.  She began her formal training with the Marin Ballet, studied with Joffrey Ballet in New York, Richmond Ballet, Ballet West, and Alonzo King’s Lines Contemporary Ballet. She attended the University of Utah on scholarship, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree with a teaching and choreography emphasis.   Ms. Kuhn has performed with Utah Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Boulder Ballet, 7 Dancers, Jayne Persch’s Briah Danse, Zikr Dance Ensemble, and numerous independent projects.  Ms. Kuhn was a principal dancer for many years with Dawson/Wallace Dance Project, formerly David Taylor Dance Theatre where she also served as a Rehearsal Director and Répétiteur.  She enjoys being a muse in the creation of contemporary and traditional ballets and collaborating with choreographers and artists.  Ms. Kuhn is honored to have the opportunity to perform classical roles as well as original works with Ballet Ariel.  Some of her favorites include Cinderella, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in Nutcracker, wife in Appalachian Spring, Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Simone in Ballet Ariel’s original work Ballerinas by Degas.  Jennifer teaches company classes.